Correlations between Motor Performance and Cognitive Functions in Children Born < 1250 g at School Age

University of Zurich, Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
Neuropediatrics (Impact Factor: 1.24). 02/2006; 37(1):6-12. DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-923840
Source: PubMed


Very low birth weight born children manifest a higher prevalence of motor and cognitive impairments than term children. Seventy-four prospectively enrolled children born < 1250 g underwent testing of motor (Zurich neuromotor assessment ZNA: timed motor performances and associated movements) and cognitive functions (Kaufman-ABC) at age six years. Children with cerebral palsy or mental retardation were excluded. Adaptive motor tasks (pegboard and dynamic balance) and visuomotor cognitive functions were specifically impaired, and a distinct correlation pattern between motor and cognitive abilities was detected. The adaptive fine motor task (pegboard) correlated with visuomotor functions of the Kaufman-ABC ("triangles", r = 0.35; "matrix analogies", r = 0.39), while pure motor tasks of the ZNA (repetitive, alternating, and sequential movements) did not in spite of impaired motor performance. Timed motor performance below the 10th percentile correlated strongly with cognitive delay (IQ < 85: adaptive fine motor: OR 6.0 [95% CI] 4.7-7.3; adaptive gross motor: OR 7.0 [CI 5.6-8.4]; static balance: OR 9.6 [CI 8.2-11.0]). In conclusion, motor deficits in children born < 1250 g without severe disabilities correlate with specific cognitive impairments, in particular of the visuomotor domain. The correlation pattern may indicate specific dysfunction in visuomotor transformation, the intermediate process between visual-perceptual input and motor output. Early assessment of both motor and cognitive functions using standardized assessment tools is important to determine the extent and combination of specific developmental disturbances and to tailor therapeutic intervention.

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    • "The intraclass correlations were generally higher for timed performances (0.65–0.95) than for associated movements (0.45–0.8). Concurrent validity has been reported with younger children (Schmidhauser et al., 2006; Seitz et al., 2006). Age and gender effects have been identified. "
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    ABSTRACT: Difficulties with low motor competence in childhood and adolescence, such as that seen in Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), often persist into adulthood. Identification of DCD at all ages is particularly challenging and problematic because of the diversity of motor symptoms. Many tests of motor proficiency and impairment have been developed for children up to 12 years of age. Whilst identification of DCD is important during childhood, it is of equal importance to identify and monitor the impact of this impairment as an individual grows and develops. Currently there is no test specifically designed to support diagnosis and monitor change in the age range 16-30 years. In this article we review five tests that have been used to assess motor competence among young adults (Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-2, McCarron Assessment of Neuromuscular Development, Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2, Tufts Assessment of Motor Performance and the Zurich Neuromotor Assessment). Key issues relevant to testing motor skills in older populations, such as the inclusion of age appropriate skills, are explored. While the BOT-2 provided the most evidence for valid and reliable measurement of Criterion A of the diagnostic criteria for DCD among this age group, no test adequately evaluated Criterion B. Further evaluation of motor skill assessment among the young adult population is needed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Research in developmental disabilities 06/2015; 41-42C:40-51. DOI:10.1016/j.ridd.2015.05.009 · 4.41 Impact Factor
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    • "They were recruited in the neonatal period and followed prospectively until adolescence. Repeated neurodevelopmental assessments were performed at three, nine and 24 months corrected age and at six and ten years (Latal-Hajnal et al., 2003; Natalucci et al., 2013; Schmidhauser et al., 2006; Seitz et al., 2006). Mean birth weight of this sample was slightly lower than in the larger samples tested at age ten, where as gestation age was comparable, 1008 g and 28.6 weeks in Natalucci et al. (2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Very low birth weight (VLBW) premature born infants have a high risk to develop visual perceptual and learning deficits as well as widespread functional and structural brain abnormalities during infancy and childhood. Whether and how prematurity alters neural specialization within visual neural networks is still unknown. We used functional and structural brain imaging to examine the visual semantic system of VLBW born (<1250g, gestational age 25-32 weeks) adolescents (13-15 years, n=11, 3 males) and matched term born control participants (13-15 years, n=11, 3 males). Neurocognitive assessment revealed no group differences except for lower scores on an adaptive visuomotor integration test. All adolescents were scanned while viewing pictures of animals and tools and scrambled versions of these pictures. Both groups demonstrated animal and tool category related neural networks. Term born adolescents showed tool category related neural activity, i.e. tool pictures elicited more activity than animal pictures, in temporal and parietal brain areas. Animal category related activity was found in the occipital, temporal and frontal cortex. VLBW born adolescents showed reduced tool category related activity in the dorsal visual stream compared with controls, specifically the left anterior intraparietal sulcus, and enhanced animal category related activity in the left middle occipital gyrus and right lingual gyrus. Lower birth weight of VLBW adolescents correlated with larger thickness of the pericalcarine gyrus in the occipital cortex and smaller surface area of the superior temporal gyrus in the lateral temporal cortex. Moreover, larger thickness of the pericalcarine gyrus and smaller surface area of the superior temporal gyrus correlated with reduced tool category related activity in the parietal cortex. Together, our data suggest that very low birth weight predicts alterations of higher order visual semantic networks, particularly in the dorsal stream. The differences in neural specialization may be associated with aberrant cortical development of areas in the visual system that develop early in childhood. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Neuropsychologia 11/2014; 67. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2014.10.030 · 3.30 Impact Factor
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    • "A parent-report questionnaire was designed to obtain demographic information about the children's age, gender, gestation period and birthweight to ensure that they were not preterm (i.e. between 36 and 42 weeks of gestation) nor low-birthweight babies (i.e. more than 2500 grams) for the group of typically developing children. It has been reported that preterm and lowbirthweight children present with delays that hamper hand skill development (Chen et al. 2004; Seitz et al. 2006). In addition, two questions were related to the presence of medical problems/ disabilities with hand skill difficulties in the children. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Children's hand skills when performing in real-life contexts have been commonly thought as a possible determinant of their self-care function; however, there is a paucity of research investigating this potential predictive relationship. The purpose of this study was to provide evidence regarding whether children's real-life hand skill performance is contributive to or predictive of their self-care function by considering other child and cultural factors. MethodsA total of 139 typically developing children and 114 with disabilities, ages 2-12 years from Australia and Taiwan, participated in the study. The outcome measures used were the Assessment of Children's Hand Skills (a measure of real-life hand skill performance) and the Personal Living Skills subscale of the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales - Classroom Edition (a measure of self-care function). ResultsHierarchical regression analysis revealed that the children's demographic variables (age, gender, disability status, handedness and cultural context) accounted for 43% of the variance of the self-care function in the combined group of children with and without disabilities. Age, presence of disability and cultural context were the statistically significant independent factors. However, after the entry of the real-life hand skill performance factor, the contributing values of age and disability status decreased and the age factor became non-significant. The hand skill performance factor was found to be the strongest, and its addition led to significant increments of 24.6% of the explained variance for children's self-care function. Similar results were also found in the regression analyses based on separate groups of typically developing children or those with disabilities. Conclusions The findings provide evidence that children's real-life hand skill performance is a contributing factor of their self-care function. The assessment of children's hand skill performance in real-life contexts is therefore needed.
    Child Care Health and Development 08/2012; 40(1). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2214.2012.01429.x · 1.69 Impact Factor
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